Best Moments from UFC 80-90
Bleacher Report's "Best Moments" series continues with a look at some of the biggest moments in UFC history.
UFC 80 through 90 was a time of big-name debuts, amazing finishes and fun fights. Most MMA fighters were developing their complete game, which in turn gave us a closer look into what MMA would evolve into.
Here are the best moments from that time period.
Below are the previous installments of the series.
Mir Spoils Lesnar's Debut with Gnarly Kneebar at UFC 81
Brock Lesnar was one of the biggest stars in WWE, but at UFC 81 he became a star in MMA.
Lesnar made his debut against Frank Mir, a former champion looking to kill Lesnar's buzz. Despite taking a beating, Mir shocked Lesnar with a brilliant submission.
The kneebar was brutal and remade Mir a star. This would not be the last time this rivalry would come to a fight in the Octagon.
Minotauro Weathers the Storm, Earns Title with Slick Guillotine at UFC 81
The interim heavyweight belt was on the line at UFC 81, and Pride legend Minotauro Nogueira was set to meet former champion Tim Sylvia.
Sylvia beat down Nogueira for a majority of the fight. His stand up was too much for Nogueira, but Nogueira would get the last laugh.
In a surprising finish, Nogueira baited the American into a guillotine choke, securing the tap for the belt. It was a great finish for the Brazilian legend.
Mark Coleman Inducted into the Hall of Fame at UFC 82
Legendary heavyweight Mark Coleman was immortalized at UFC 82 when he officially became a member of the UFC Hall of Fame.
"The Godfather of Ground and Pound" definitely earned his spot there, having had a great career in both the UFC and Pride.
Silva Overcomes Rough First Round to Win Unification Bout with Henderson
At UFC 82, the Pride and UFC belts were set to be unified when Anderson Silva met Dan Henderson.
Silva lost his first round in UFC history in the first, when Henderson used wrestling and clinch to earn the upper hand. Silva was fired up in the second round though, tearing through Henderson.
He eventually would get Henderson down and tap him out with a rear-naked choke. It was a big win for "The Spider."
Irvin Goes Superman on Alexander at UFC Fight Night 13
Eight seconds was all it took for James Irvin to pull out a highlight reel finish.
After meeting in the center of the Octagon, Irvin landed a huge superman punch that landed flush on Houston Alexander's jaw. It was a spectacular knockout, plain and simple.
Diaz Triangles Pellegrino, Shows Him Who's No. 1 at UFC Fight Night 13
It is one of the most interesting finishes in MMA history, when Nate Diaz choked out Kurt Pellegrino.
After locking in a beautiful triangle choke, Diaz flipped off Pellegrino and flexed for the crowd while still strangling him. It was cocky, but it was also damn cool.
Future Champ Cain Velasquez Makes Successful Debut at UFC 83
Former UFC heavyweight champ Cain Velasquez had to start his UFC title run somewhere, and the road to that belt started at UFC 83 against Brad Morris.
Early in the first round, Velasquez showed he was not just a wrestler by blasting Morris with power punches. It showed that he was a real threat to any heavyweight he faced.
Nate Quarry Makes Us Laugh vs. "The Running Man" at UFC 83
UFC 83 played host to the worst UFC fight of all time. However, that is not why this fight made the list.
Kalib Starnes failed to engage and literally avoided fighting Nate Quarry in their fight. Frustrated by his lack of testicular fortitude, Quarry began taunting Starnes with "the running man" and his weird face-covering punch thing.
It was worth a laugh in a fight that made people want to cry.
GSP Dominates Serra, Gains Revenge at UFC 83
Georges St. Pierre was on the receiving end of the biggest upset in UFC history. At UFC 83, it was time to erase the memory of that loss.
In complete and utter domination, GSP routed Serra and eventually finished him with brutal knees to the body. He got his belt back and proved that he was the better man in the end.
Carwin Sends Wellisch's Mouthpiece Flying in Debut at UFC 84
Shane Carwin made his debut at UFC 84 and it was nothing short of spectacular.
Early in the fight, Carwin connected with a huge punch on Christian Wellisch that sent his mouthpiece flying. It was an iconic image in the early UFC career of a powerful heavyweight.
Wanderlei Murders Jardine at UFC 84
Wanderlei Silva is an absolute monster when he wins his fights. In looking at the win he had over Keith Jardine at UFC 84, you find major proof.
After dropping Jardine early with a brutal combination, Silva held down Jardine by the throat and dropped some major bombs. Jardine was completely out cold and Silva added another highlight to his decorated career.
Penn Leaves Sherk in a Heap at UFC 84
A couple of BJ Penn's best knockouts have come with his opponent laying on the cage. One of them is against Sean Sherk.
At the end of the round in their title fight, Penn rocked Sherk with a huge flying knee that rocked "The Muscle Shark." A few punches later, the bell rang and the round was over.
Even though the round ended, Sherk was out. The fight was over and Penn became the champion.
Alves Destroys Hughes with Flying Knee at UFC 85
UFC 85 saw a shocking finish to an intriguing fight between Matt Hughes and Thiago Alves.
In one of the most spectacular knockouts in UFC history, Alves hit Hughes with a picture-perfect flying knee that put Hughes out cold. In the process of going down, Hughes would blow out his knee unfortunately.
It was a huge win for Alves.
Underdog Griffin Beats Rampage to Become Champion at UFC 86
Silva Clobbers Irvin at UFC Fight Night 14
Anderson Silva moved up to light heavyweight at UFC Fight Night 14 and faced fellow striker James Irvin in the main event.
The bout itself did not last long, as Silva caught a kick from Irvin and leveled him with a punch. A few follow-up punches later and Silva earned the referee stoppage for the win.
Jones Makes Victorious Debut Against Gusmao at UFC 87
Current light heavyweight champion Jon Jones made his debut at UFC 87 on short notice against Andre Gusmao. Luckily, it was in victorious fashion.
Jones showcased why he is so exciting to watch, using his creative striking and dominant wrestling to outwork Gusmao. It is a win that has sent him on a path to the glory he currently possesses.
Emerson KOs Gamburyan from His Knees UFC 87
UFC 87 was home to a seemingly unnoticeable matchup between Rob Emerson and Manny Gamburyan. If you didn't think twice about this fight, nobody would blame you.
Early in the fight, there was a scramble. As Emerson and Gamburyan were getting up Emerson clocked the Armenian-American with a wicked punch from his knees.
Gamburyan was out and Emerson had himself a highlight reel KO.
Lesnar Retires Herring in Dominating Fashion at UFC 87
Brock Lesnar returned to the Octagon at UFC 87 when he faced respected heavyweight Heath Herring. What ensued was a spectacular ass-kicking by Lesnar.
A memorable image from the bout was Lesnar's huge right cross that staggered Herring, leading to a full blown football tackle by Lesnar.
The beating was so bad that Herring retired from MMA. This fight showed how dominating Lesnar could be.
Franklin Cripples Hamill with Body Kick at UFC 88
Rich Franklin met Mat Hamill at UFC 88, but only one man walked out of the cage a winner by TKO. That man was Franklin.
After a pretty one-sided couple of rounds, Franklin finally finished Hamill with a devastating body kick. It completely crippled Hamill and made the crowd roar.
Evans KOs Liddell with One Punch at UFC 88
One punch and the world was in utter shock. That, and Chuck Liddell was on dream street.
Rashad Evans hit the knockout heard 'round the world when he landed a brutal one-punch knockout of Liddell. It was so devastating that Liddell did not come around for a while.
It may be one of the best one-punch knockouts in UFC history.
JDS Debuts in Violent Fashion at UFC 90
If there was ever a coveted way to debut in the UFC, Junior dos Santos definitely sets the standard.
Dos Santos faced a top heavyweight opponent in Fabricio Werdum when the two squared off in Chicago. In the blink of an eye, it was over.
Dos Santos landed a massive uppercut that left Werdum in a heap. It was beautiful and devastating simultaneously.